Usually, any review of anything has its overall conclusions and recommendations at the end of the article but here I feel it is best to say these things at the beginning: It was a great day, worth every penny, and I completely recommend that if you have never attended before, then you should definitely think about doing so next year.
The venue was The Winter Gardens in Weston-super-Mare. There were plenty of rooms for all the various events and a small restaurant area too.
The day was opened by the president of The Bristol Society of Magicians, Steve Lawrence, followed by a short speech by the president of the British Ring of The International Brotherhood of Magicians, Trevor Lewis.
This was then followed by about six hours of lectures, close up magic sessions, and a one man show. Jill and I attended the lecture by David Tomkins, the one man show of John Archer and the close up sessions of Steve Beam, Nick Einhorn and Shawn Farquhar. While all this was going on there was a dealer’s showcase in another part of the building where all sorts of magic equipment and supplies were on sale. In order to take advantage of the opportunity to buy things I needed (thank you to The Card Collection, Magic Books by Post and others) and to take time out for lunch, we missed a few of the lectures. It seems odd that the schedule for the day did not have a set lunch break, meaning that people could either go hungry or miss out on one of the events, but there was so much to pack into one day I am really not sure how a break could have been provided without compromising the variety and quality that The Bristol Society of Magic provided that day.
There was a two hour break in the evening and then everyone met at the The Playhouse for the gala show, Spellbound, which was absolutely fantastic.
The people who made the biggest impression on me on the day were John Archer, Nick Einhorn, Steve Beam, Shawn Farquhar and Michael Pearse. Pearse’s act in the gala show was one that received a lot of appreciation from the audience. In his seventies, Pearse juggled various items whilst firing out joke after joke after joke. In one of the close up magic sessions Shawn Farquhar presented an original take on the cups and balls that left the audience somewhat speechless at times. During the gala show he performed several tricks, one of which can be seen being performed by him on Youtube at another venue. John Archer has a channel on Youtube but nearly all the videos are from the television program Undercover Magic and in no way represent the very funny comedy magic act we saw at the convention.
Next year will be the fiftieth Bristol Day of Magic and it was hinted that this will be an extra special event.